Wednesday, 29 August 2012

An Imperial court

Depending on how you look at it, there's an inherent risk/benefit to the likes of me (and you) in having a friend who works in a charity shop.  You visit them at work and end up coming out with armfuls of books, knick-knacks and goodness knows what else, when you just went in to say "hello".  Oh, the temptation!  Invariably they also call you up to say that "something you'll like" has come in.

Something like... this:

I seem to be naturally progressing into an Imperial man.  This is now my second Imperial typewriter along with my 1956 Model 66 and my first portable for many years.  The font may be a bit smaller and a tad more higgedly-piggedly but the family relationship is there to see - at least, I think I can see it.  You may notice that this is actually a Litton Imperial 200.  Litton Industries was an American conglomerate founded in 1953 as an electronics company and by the time it taken over by Northrop Grumman(!) in 2001 it had diversified enormously into - to name but a few - shipyards, office furniture, oilfields and, yes, you've guessed it, typewriters.  In 1964 Litton Industries bought the Royal Typewriter Company in America.  Buoyed by this, two years later in 1966 it bought out British manufacturer Imperial (then three years after that it took over the German firm Adler).  Robert Messenger of the Australian Typewriter Museum explains in great detail the machinations of Litton's Royal-Imperial-Adler '60s takeovers in his blog here.

The upshot of this all is that my Imperial 200 is identical to some Royal and Adler models, was likely made in Japan (where Litton shifted all production) and was probably one of the last typewriters to feature the Imperial name (the company became defunct in 1974).

None of which bothers me at all, really.  While my eyes are still peeled for earlier portables from my era of choice, this little Imperial will do quite nicely for now.  I was bemoaning just the other day my lack of a portable typewriter should a type-in ever appear in the UK (and, by the way, my recent poll about a UK type-in received one vote, but it was a Yes so I look at it as 100% in favour!) and now I've got one!


  1. Congratulations! My goodness but that is a beauty! I look forward to many more type written posts! :)

  2. I love typewriter written posts! I'd love to own one!


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